Sientra (NASDAQ:SIEN) and MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, profitability, dividends, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

MSA Safety pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Sientra does not pay a dividend. MSA Safety pays out 37.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MSA Safety has raised its dividend for 47 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

86.1% of Sientra shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.3% of MSA Safety shares are held by institutional investors. 31.0% of Sientra shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 9.1% of MSA Safety shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sientra and MSA Safety’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sientra -126.32% -119.59% -50.38%
MSA Safety 8.47% 27.93% 10.98%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Sientra and MSA Safety’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sientra $68.13 million 2.59 -$82.63 million ($3.25) -1.86
MSA Safety $1.36 billion 2.92 $124.15 million $4.50 22.79

MSA Safety has higher revenue and earnings than Sientra. Sientra is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than MSA Safety, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Sientra and MSA Safety, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sientra 0 1 7 0 2.88
MSA Safety 0 2 1 0 2.33

Sientra currently has a consensus price target of $21.13, suggesting a potential upside of 250.33%. MSA Safety has a consensus price target of $106.10, suggesting a potential upside of 3.46%. Given Sientra’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Sientra is more favorable than MSA Safety.

Risk & Volatility

Sientra has a beta of 0.27, indicating that its stock price is 73% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MSA Safety has a beta of 1.32, indicating that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

MSA Safety beats Sientra on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sientra Company Profile

Sientra, Inc., a medical aesthetics company, develops and sells medical aesthetics products to plastic surgeons in the United States. It operates through two segments, Breast Products and miraDry. The company offers silicone gel breast implants for use in breast augmentation and breast reconstruction procedures; breast tissue expanders; and scar management products under the Sientra, AlloX2, Dermaspan, Softspan, and BIOCORNEUM brand names. It also provides body contouring products; facial and nasal implants; saline filled breast implant sizers; and miraDry System, a non-surgical device for the permanent reduction of underarm sweat, odor, and hair of all colors. The company was formerly known as Juliet Medical, Inc. and changed its name to Sientra, Inc. in April 2007. Sientra, Inc. was incorporated in 2003 and is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California.

MSA Safety Company Profile

MSA Safety Incorporated develops, manufactures, and supplies safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures in the oil, gas, petrochemical, fire service, construction, utilities, and mining industries worldwide. It operates through Americas and International segments. The company's core product offerings include permanently installed fixed gas and flame detection instruments, such as permanently installed gas detection monitoring systems, and flame detectors and open-path infrared gas detectors, as well as replacement components and related services to detect the presence or absence of various gases in the air. Its core product offerings also consist of breathing apparatus products, such as self-contained breathing apparatus, face masks, and respirators; hand-held portable gas detection instruments; industrial head protection products; firefighter helmets and protective apparel; and fall protection equipment comprising confined space equipment, harnesses, lanyards, and lifelines. In addition, the company offers respirators, eye and face protection products, ballistic helmets, and gas masks. It serves distributors, and industrial or military end-users through indirect and direct sales channels. The company was founded in 1914 and is based in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

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